Epic Studios was very happy to have Jonathan Ayres on board for last weekend’s wrestling event, he joined our crew as director and brought a wealth of experience with him.
Johnathan’s directing career began with Endemol UK before a seven year stint with the BBC, where he worked on several major national news programmes and specials before eventually signing up to direct the BBC’s Formula 1 coverage. When Formula 1 made the switch over to Channel 4, Jonathan followed and he continues to direct the coverage on behalf of Whisper Films.
Alongside directing in the TV industry, Jonathan runs a London-based online video content production company – Full Picture Productions – working with clients such as John Lewis, l’Oreal and Barnardo’s. He has also been responsible for numerous freelance online streaming events, most notably with Sony Music Entertainment where he has directed artists including Kasabian and One Direction..
As soon as our WAW and Bellatrix weekend of filming had been declared ‘a wrap’, we took the chance to have a quick chat with Jonathan about his first directing experience at Epic Studios.
How did you find your first experience as director for the WAW / Epic Studios wrestling recordings?
It was a bit different! I’ve never done wrestling or even a ring sport before and there are a few issues that you don’t come across in other types of shows. The spontaneous nature is a big thing! There isn’t a regimental plan down to the second, so adapting to the moment was very important. Thankfully the camera operators were on the ball and covered it all quite well.
What were your hopes and expectations before you joined us for the weekend?
I didn’t really know what to expect, though I understood a little bit about the pomp and grandeur from a small amount of work with WWE at the O2 last year. WAW is a lot more raw compared to the glitz of WWE which makes for a better product to film. It’s exciting to be involved from an early stage before the television coverage has become a key part of the experience!
How did you feel in the moment of directing your first ever live wrestling broadcast?
It was great to have access to some very good resources and exciting to be in such a historic studio for the first time, overseeing the product. It was hair raising at points! I’m usually in full control of whats in front of me and it’s always awkward to be following an event as opposed to creating it as lines of communication need to be very well maintained. I’ve also never really seen live wrestling before, so quite shocked by what was taking place at times.
What are your hopes for the future of WAW and Bellatrix at Epic Studios?
Fingers crossed, onto a terrestrial broadcaster, developing a big following and becoming a well known brand! Regular high quality TV content looks to be a real prospect. There’s a lot of drama and thought put in to the shows, which makes it a great process to be involved with.
Exciting times ahead then?
Yes, things should be very cool going forward. The relative unknown factor of British wrestling on TV gives it a whole realm of possibilities while the history of the sport gives it a wealth of character.
Epic Studios has a great team. Despite a small crew, the quality of the work was top notch, even compared to much larger production crews. Anything that was lacking in traditional TV experience was more than made up for in enthusiasm and team members who are fresh from the Access to Music creative media course, capably using high-end technology was nice to see!
We look forward to seeing Jonathan continue to work his magic with WAW alongside our in-house production team!Tags: Bellatrix, Epic Studios, Jonathan Ayres, WAW